Whipworm infection: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms range from mild to severe. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. A severe infection may cause:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fecal incontinence (during sleep)
  • Rectal prolapse

Diagnosis & Tests

A stool ova and parasites exam reveals the presence of whipworm eggs.

Pictures & Images

Trichuris trichiura egg

This is the classical appearance of the Trichuria (whipworm) egg. The eggs are highly infectious. After a person eats contaminated food, the worms hatch from the eggs and live in the intestine, causing vomiting and diarrhea. (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)


Review Date : 9/28/2008
Reviewed By : Jatin M. Vyas, PhD, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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